Kerala is a popular tourist destination from India which has its beauty of nature and distinct flavors of food, especially the area of seafood is remarkable and mouthwatering. At the bank of back water or sea side in kerala, you can find at least a toddy ( a mildly alcoholic beverage made from the sap of coconut or palm trees) shop(kallu shaap) which serves spicy and mouthwatering seafood and meat delicacies with or without toddy ๐ . The preparation and serving style will be varied from normal household. Yeah! It would be more spicy and bit oily than home cooking but I am sure! once you experience that, it gives you an unforgettable mouthwatering memory :-)
In Kerala, kuttanad and Alappuzha or Alleppey is the most known destination of particular shops and dishes but my hometown Kollam also has some good places nearby Ashtamudi Lake, the gateway to the back water of Kerala. Kappa and spicy fish curry, beef ullarthu/stir fry, duck curry, Prawn Roast, Crab Roast, fish head curry, and whole fish fry or Pearl spot fish fry/karimeen fry are the popular attractions of such kind of shops. Now days this kind of dishes are served in house boats and resorts also and when our last visit we tasted that unforgettable taste. We had kappa, spicy fish curry, pearl spot fish fry (karimeen porichathu) etc. sadly my kids have some difficulty in eating karimeen varuthathu (Pearl spot fish fry) because of its sharp bones ๐ they always like fleshy and firm fish fry without bone ๐ understanding the situation, our chef prepared a whole pomfret fry with a similar recipe and my kids enjoyed it very much. Knowing my kids taste I learned that recipe from the chef roughly and attempt it several times in my Singapore magic kitchen ๐ . Most of the time I serve it in my home like a traditional kallu shaap/toddy shop style minus toddy ๐ ๐ because we love to encourage our kids to experience and live along with Kerala culture where ever they are in the world ๐ Here is some proof for you ๐ ๐ . You know that! After the photo shoot, my kids ate there portions direct from the manchatti/clay pot and enjoyed as much as they could and proved they are my kids ๐ Yeah! Its tastes awesome ๐
|Cooking and Preparation Time||30 Minutes|
|marinating time||At least 30 to 45 minutes|
|Serves||2 to 4|
Ingredients For Kerala Toddy Shop Style whole Fish Fry (Pan Fried Spicy Whole Pomfret/Avoli Indian Style)
|Pomfret Fish or similar Fish (I used golden pomfret for this recipe)||2 Numbers(Medium Sized)||Cut and Cleaned (with or without head)|
|Black Pepper seeds||1 Tablespoon||To Grind (Adjust as per your taste)|
|Ginger||2 Inch root||Skinned and Diced (To Grind)|
|Garlic||4 Fat Cloves||Skinned and Diced (To Grind)|
|Shallots/Pearl Onions||5 to 6 Numbers||Skinned and Diced (To Grind)|
|Curry Leaves||8 to 10 Leaves||To Grind|
|Red Chili Powder||1 ยฝ Tablespoon||To Ground Paste (Adjust as per your taste)|
|Turmeric Powder||1 Teaspoon||For Ground Paste|
|Lemon Juice||From ยฝ lime|
|Salt||As per your taste|
|Curry leaves||A hand full||Extra|
|Any veg Oil||To deep fry Fish||I used coconut oil|
Method For Kerala Toddy Shop Style whole Fish Fry (Pan Fried Spicy Whole Pomfret/Avoli Indian Style)
Place cleaned whole pomfret fish in a mixing bowl, using a sharp knife make some slits in both sides.
In a mixer jar (small), place ingredients to grind (ginger, garlic, onion, curry leaves and black pepper seeds). Grind and make a coarse form.
Add spices (Chilli and turmeric powder).
Add salt and lime juice (squeeze and add lime juice without seeds).
Grind again and make a smooth ground paste.
Place ground paste and a hand full of curry leaves into the fish pan.
Mix and marinate altogether. Make sure that the ground paste with the curry leaves well covered the fish completely.
Refrigerate marinated fish 30 minutes to 1 hr for setting. (If you freeze the marinated fish overnight and fry, the spices will be absorb in the flesh and taste better)
Heat oil in a deep frying pan. Oil is hot enough for frying, place one marinated fish first. (Fry fishes individually to prevent breaking)
Cover the pan with a heavy lid (choose glass lid) and cook fish for next 3 to 5 minutes in a medium-low heat.
Uncover the pan and flip the pomfret without breaking. Close the pan again and cook it next 2 to 3 minutes.
Uncover and fry the cooked fish until both sides looks crispy and golden.
Remove fried fish from the oil and place on kitchen tissue/towel.
Serve hot with some sliced onion/savola, green chilli and lime wedges. Enjoy ๐ and I love this crispy fish treat with boiled rice, sambar, rasam, moru curry etc..:-)
Notes and Tips
Adjust spices as per your taste and fishs size.
For this recipe I used coconut oil for frying. It gives your fish fry original Kerala taste and aroma.
You can use any firm and fleshy fish like Pomfret (Golden Pomfret, Silver/white pomfret, black pomfret etc).
If you freeze the marinated fish overnight and fry, the spices will be absorb in the flesh and taste better.
You can find more kerala recipes HERE.